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zucchini mac and cheese in a skillet with a spoon

Zucchini Mac and Cheese

Deliciously creamy zucchini mac and cheese is the ultimate, healthy comfort food that adds in extra veggies! Make this healthier, easy zucchini mac and cheese for a weeknight dinner that the whole family will love. Options to add extra protein and even more veggies, too!

Course Comfort Food, Dinner, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Keyword easy zucchini mac and cheese, healthier zucchini mac and cheese, zucchini mac and cheese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 514 kcal
Author Monique Volz of AmbitiousKitchen.com

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces dry pasta shells (gluten free if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour (or sub regular flour or GF all purpose flour)
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cashew milk, almond milk or regular milk (from the carton or homemade if you prefer)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese)
  • 1 1/2 heaping cups shredded zucchini that’s been squeezed of excess moisture with a paper towel
  • For topping:
  • 2 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and reserved for the topping (or about ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese)

Instructions

  1. First boil the noodles until al dente, according to the directions on the package. Once done cooking, drain and set aside.
  2. While the noodles are boiling, make a slurry: In a large oven safe skillet or pot add butter and place over medium heat. Once butter is melted, whisk in a little bit of the flour and then slowly add in milk, a little bit at a time, alternating with the flour and vigorously whisking away any lumps. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes stirring every so often, until the sauce thickens up similar to a gravy. Stir in garlic powder, onion powder, salt and LOTS of freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Next add in 6 ounces (or about 1 ½ cups) of shredded sharp cheddar cheese and stir until completely melted. Finally fold in cooked noodles and shredded zucchini. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired.

  4. OPTIONAL BUT RECOMMENDED: Top mac and cheese with 2 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese. At this point you can either serve the mac and cheese as is and just fold in the extra cheddar you just added, or remove from heat and place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly golden. Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side dish.

Recipe Notes

I typically make this with unsweetened almond or cashew milk because we don't buy regular milk. However you can use whatever milk you'd like. If you want a richer mac and cheese, use 2% or whole.

I recommend shredding your own cheese from a block of cheese. It generally melts better!

To store: store this healthier zucchini mac and cheese in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days (if it lasts that long!)

To reheat: you can reheat it in the microwave to save time, but I would recommend adding it to a lightly oiled baking dish and heating it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. This will help the mac and cheese get that bubbly cheese factor back without drying out.

Nutrition Facts
Zucchini Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 514 Calories from Fat 179
% Daily Value*
Fat 19.9g31%
Saturated Fat 10.6g66%
Carbohydrates 62.6g21%
Fiber 4.9g20%
Sugar 2.8g3%
Protein 24.6g49%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.